Late goal-line stand helps Eagles advance to NFC championship


The sideline erupted in pandemonium. With the win, the Eagles (14-3) will host next week's NFC title game against either the New Orleans Saints or the Minnesota Vikings, who play on Sunday. They are hosting it for the first time since January 2005. The Eagles now await the victor of Sunday's Vikings-Saints game.

With one second left on the clock, Elliott duly thumped over a 53-yarder to make it 10-9 at the break. Matt Ryan overthrew Julio Jones in the end zone, and the Eagles survived. The defense carried the Eagles, holding them to only one touchdown.

"Nick did a great job, man".

Foles was 23 for 30 for 246 yards over all, while Ryan was 22 of 36 for 210. "But we made too many mistakes". Ajayi had 49 rush yards on seven first-quarter carries, but the Eagles' run game stalled after that, netting 47 yards the remainder of the game.

The Eagles organization pounced on this angle, playing up the idea that they were being disrespected. A replay reversed the call, marking Foles down at the 1, setting up Blount's touchdown on fourth down, though Elliott missed the extra point. He called a timeout to further consider his decision before sending his field goal unit onto the field.

Elliot would hit two more field goals from 37 and 21 yards out to give the Eagles a 15-10 lead. "They aren't going to run it from the two-yard line", Jenkins explained.

The crowd erupted when Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan's pass fell incomplete in the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the Philadelphia 2-yard line with less than one minute remaining. Ryan would be sacked three times by the Eagles defense, with a loss of 15 yards. That gave Atlanta momentum, but it wasn't enough. Jalen Mills held him to four catches for 48 yards when he was matched up against Jones. What the Eagles have accomplished this season is really, really special.

It was the first home playoff victory for the Eagles in more than 11 years. The defense again held Atlanta, and the offense wasn't going to squander their next chance.

"That's one of the areas we are dialed in from the beginning of the season to where how we make sure those aren't field goals and they turn into touchdowns", coach Dan Quinn said.

And in the end, Atlanta had to deal with the currents on that final drive, which did include a 20-yard completion to Jones on fourth-and-6. On a third-and-3, Pederson uncovered a new play from the playbook - a jet sweep to Nelson Agholor, who took it 21 yards to Atlanta's three-yard line.

The 86-yard drive took 14 plays and 6:44. "It came down to the last seconds".

As bad as Foles was for the Eagles in the first half, the Birds also didn't have much luck. Philadelphia took a 6-3 lead.

The game wasn't decided until the final seconds. The ball bounced off Neal and into Torrey Smith's hands, who did his best Franco Harris impression to bring the ball to midfield.

The running back was perhaps his harshest critic after the win, stating his mistakes, the early fumble and a dropped pass in the second half, that could have proved costly if not for the play of his teammates.

Ajayi returned at the start of the second half.